Tulane University has unveiled new plans for a campus focusing on coastal science on the riverfront property now occupied by Mardi Gras World; small local vendors are thriving at the weekly LaSalle market; a 146-year-old synagogue on Jackson Avenue in the Irish Channel is slated for redevelopment as luxury apartments, and an illegal parking space on Octavia Street has been removed, according to recent development reports.
In the wake of recent high-profile complaints about the New Orleans Taxi Bureau, one suggestion has been for New Orleans to emulate New York’s system for regulating taxi cabs by creating a new taxi/limousine commission and adopting a medallion system. In my view, this is a monumentally bad idea.
An impetus for this proposed change is related to complaints against the New Orleans Taxi Bureau and its chief, Malachi Hull, including an incident I wrote about previously when a Taxi Bureau inspector, Wilton “Big Will” Joiner, slammed a tour guide in the side of a parked car full view of a crowd of appalled tourists. This was troubling because Taxi Bureau investigators aren’t peace officers; they lack authority to detain or arrest anybody.
It’s clear that the Taxi Bureau is ill-managed and corrupt, and institutional changes certainly shouldn’t be rejected out of hand. However, New York’s supposed “reforms” are not something New Orleans should replicate.
Workers preparing Jefferson Avenue for installation of a major new drainage canal will spend the next several weeks before Christmas trimming trees and removing the neutral ground, New Orleans officials said.
Recent complaints about the City’s Taxi Cab Bureau, its director Malachi Hull and several members of his staff lead us to ponder whether it is time to replace the Taxi Cab Bureau with a state-of-the-industry Taxi and Limousine Commission modeled after New York City’s, which was created more than 40 years ago.
A New Orleans developer presented his vision for a five-story condo building with a large ground-floor gym to Oak Street residents and neighbors Tuesday night, drawing questions and concerns about the scale of the project among expressions of general enthusiasm for the concept.
“Smart growth” is a concept that I have long derided. Reduced to its essence, smart growth is an ideology borne of a single idea (that the rise of the suburbs is somehow evil), and dedicated to forcing people to live in dense cities. Their boogeyman is sprawl, which they condemn endlessly.
Oversimplified? A bit, sure, but then the rhetoric and policy proposals from smart growth advocates strike me as simplistic and single-minded.
While it may be difficult to imagine Mardi Gras floats navigating around the cranes and construction fences that dominate an ever-growing swath of Napoleon Avenue, officials say the site should be secure in time for the coming year’s parades to pass without disruption.
As the construction zone grows past St. Charles Avenue in the next year, however, Carnival season in 2015 is expected to bring some changes.
The Fifth Annual Magazine Street Blues Festival in Lawrence Square park on Saturday will feature a music lineup headlined by Rockin’ Dopsie, plus food, an artist’s village and kids’ activities — all in an effort to raise money to support the officers of the New Orleans Police Department’s Uptown-based Second District.
We could not let this week pass without commenting on the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s death. Allan was a reporter at the States Item Picayune when Kennedy died and actually met and talked with Lee Harvey Oswald during a trip to the newsroom just weeks before. Allan’s memory of Lee Harvey Oswald 50 years ago is that Oswald was considered a very weird, insignificant guy who was an advocate for Fidel Castro, not a very popular point of view in 1963 New Orleans. At the time, Danae was in junior high school in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
By Tracy A. BuccinoIn response to Mr. Courreges’ recent piece regarding NORTA fare increases (“Necessary or not, RTA fare hike makes New Orleans two bits closer to unaffordable“), I suggest that one way to increase revenue without socking it to the poor, elderly, and others with no alternative would be to increase the single-ticket price while keeping the monthly-pass price the same or perhaps even lowering it. I would also suggest offering discounted monthly passes for the same categories (and perhaps others) that are currently offered for the single fares.
Should applications for jobs with the City of New Orleans ask if a person has any previous felony convictions? Mayor Landrieu, to his credit, says no.
Referred to as “banning the box,” cutting this query from employment applications won’t do away with background checks. It would, however, prevent a “yes” answer from eliminating an otherwise qualified candidate from the interview process based on biases against those with criminal records. Background checks, as they should, would come down the line once that person is considered for hiring; and even then, a felony conviction won’t be an employment barrier.
Thirteen years. That’s how long New Orleanians have been paying $1.25 fares for one-way trips on streetcars and buses. In an era characterized by major increases in city fees and taxes, transit fares have remained relatively low.
Now, it appears that $1.25 fares may not be quite enough. Veolia Transportation Services Inc., the French corporation contracted to manage services for the Regional Transit Association (RTA), revealed this past Tuesday that there will not be enough money left in reserves to fund services by 2015 unless a fare increase is enacted.
A deep pothole Olive Street that was tearing up cars turning off of Carrollton Avenue has mostly been repaired, but problems with the drains persist and a new pothole may be forming, reports Bill Capo of our partners at WWL-TV.
For as long as I’ve known her my wife has had it out for ligustrums, while I’ve always found crepe myrtles to be, well, creepy. But I’m also a weirdo who doesn’t see the need to willy-nilly go Lawnmower Man on Mother Nature in the name of progress. Or, maybe I’m just quizzical as to why in the lower leg of the Napoleon Ave drainage project the neutral ground trees were decimated recently, while earlier in the project above St. Charles Avenue the greenery was saved and replanted nearby in Samuel Square. Incongruity and the decisions made by bureaucrats and contractors go together like peas and carrots, I tell ya. (Still waiting on that oak to be trimmed across the street from me, but I digress.)
Three years after opening the popular Oak wine bar, the owners are planning to expand with a new gastropub next door on Oak Street called Ale, joined with a courtyard between them.
News travels fast in New Orleans. On Sunday, my inbox began piling up with reports of an altercation that allegedly took place over the weekend. Altercations in New Orleans are no big news, but here the incident allegedly occurred between an employee of the Taxicab and For Hire Bureau, Wilton “Big Will” Joiner, and Wendy Bosma, a tour guide operating the in the French Quarter.
From what I gather (here’s a WWL report on the incident), it happened like this: On November 9, 2013, Bosma was conducting a Haunted History Tour down Royal Street near Governor Nicolls. She was guiding a tour group near the infamous LaLaurie Mansion (made more famous by “American Horror Story: Coven” currently airing on the FX Network).
Bosma claims that Joiner approached her and claimed that was closer than 50 feet to another tour group in violation of the law. Joiner demanded her tour guide license, which was pinned to Bosma’s purse. Bosma refused, noting that she was the only guide on the street. Joiner then suddenly reached out and grabbed her license and identification off of her purse.